Saturday, March 6, 2010

Just When you thinks are going OK…..

So I’m driving home Thursday afternoon, all excited because it’s stitching night, going 65 mph (speed limit) on the highway, minding my own business, and my engine dies! No sputtering, no shaking, no lights, no warning! I’m so nonplussed it takes more than a few seconds to realize “Hey! I’ve got no engine! I better get off the highway!” Which I do, without incident. I have steering, brakes, lights, radio,wipers, heat, fan but no engine.

I have it towed to the local garage- only 5 minutes away ( I was SOOOOOOOOO close!)I figure it has to be the fuel filter at minimum, fuel pump at worst. No big deal. It’s a little disappointing that my 2006 Corolla, with less than 72,000 miles had an important component fail, but it’s not the end of the world. I have noticed I can hear the pump cycling down when I shut off my car every night and have always told myself “Well, THAT will be the first thing to go!”  Just a whole bunch of added stress to my life I really didn’t need. I ended up walking to Joanne’s for stitching for the de-stress. It helped a lot and then my stitching peeps made me feel all warm and fuzzy with offers of rides/cars/wine! (you guys are the BEST- you know that, right?? Thanks to you all!)

On the walk over, I called my boss and he let me have the day off Friday. (Yippee! Stitching day!)

On Friday, by noon, I’m biting my nails from nervousness “Why hasn’t he called?? If it’s the fuel pump he needs to call to have me Ok the work and have time to get the part delivered and I REALLY want my car for the weekend” So I decide to torture myself and Google “2006 Corolla engine stops suddenly”. Bad, bad, bad idea. Especially if one is prone to stress. Turns out, while I’ve been sitting all smug on my high horse because my year Toyota is NOT affected by the recent brake issues, my year Toyota DOES have issues with the main computer! Enough documented cases that the NHSTA started an investigation last November, but not enough (yet) to issue a recall, but enough that Toyota apparently extended the warranty on this component from 60, 000 miles/60 months to 80, 0000 miles/84 months, but not enough (yet) to actually tell any of us 2006 owners that we may have a problem!!! Plus, in my reading various hits to my search, I found most complainers were saying that dealers were taking weeks to have the part delivered (backorders for all the faulty computers being replaced), and then having the new computer fail again. Not good, not good, not good!!!!!!So I wait until 1:30 and call my garage, and mention my suspicions of the fuel pump, and of my research into the computer problems.

When He finally called back at 4:15, it was to tell me that yes, it was the computer, and I’d have to have it towed to the dealer about 10 miles away. When I called them, the secretary sounded harried “You’ll have to call in the morning, we close at 6:00, we’re awfully busy, we may not be able to get to it….” So not helpful! I then arrange for a AAA tow for Saturday am, and gear myself up for a huge battle with Giant Corporation which has been inundated recently with thousands of recalled cars, and may not want to deal with something that is not a recalled item, but possibly a warranty item (a very expensive warranty item). And I stress over having to try to negotiate a loaner car, and how much will this cost if they deem it NOT under warranty…..not a good night!

So I meet Mr.. tow truck man, who works for “Murphy Towing” (now that’s a good sign!) at 7:45 am. He’s nice, and he takes the initiative by dropping my car right in front of the showroom, which caused Mr.. harried service expediter to run over “You can’t park there! We need these spots for sales!! Parking is at a premium! Can you move it around back?” I suspect he was sweating over yet another vehicle being dropped off by a tow truck where every customer could see. Then Mr.. Tow truck man waves me off when I try to pay him the per mile charge over and above the first 3 miles free- it would have been about $15, but he said because I was a Murphy, he would call us even! Sweet!! I made sure to mention to Mr.. harried service expediter that my daughter went to school with dealership owner’s daughter and could he promise me they’d get to my car today pretty please?? So I turned my info in, and the service manager seemed OK with it all- not defensive like I expected, and familiar with the problem. He’s the one who even offered that Toyota extended the warranty on the computers. And in less than 3 hours, they were calling my name, and Mr.. Service Manager thought he’d kid me and say “Yes- you need a new engine.” When my eyes rolled back in my head he then said “Just kidding! It WAS the computer. We’ve replaced it- we had one in stock. You’re all set, it was under warranty.”

Another nonplussed moment! 2 in less than 3 days! I was home before 11:00. i must say, although I have lost confidence in Toyotas as a product, and in my car in particular (even though this was the very first problem I’ve had), I must say this local dealership helped earn some of that trust back with how smoothly and quickly they handled my problem.

End  of a very long saga in an effort to totally cleanse myself of any associated lingering stress.

Here’s some stitching progress (I ended up doing my checkbook ALL day- which alleviated some background stress):

Pumpkins: it’s getting there!!!


and I started that Noel freebie:

noel freebie


Glenna said...

Whoa--so lucky that it all worked out like that! You're charmed! Yikes do I hate car stress!

Catherine said...

Wow! What a day! At least it turned out okay in that you didn't have to pay for the repair!

Wanda said...

And now....I know what you mean...will you ever feel 100% about your car again?! I hope so, with time. The stress just doesn't go away when they fix a problem....with me it just sort of lingers and I hate that. Thank goodness you have your stitching peeps to help you through. Nice stitching, by the way. Good progress

MsCustSrv said...

Hello, I am wondering if you can share with me the city and state where this event occurred and if you would like to give your name and membership number. I may be contacted at - I would love to recognize the tow driver you mentioned. Thanks!